Stephen Harper: Promise keeper or Promise breaker

  Niagara Falls, Ontario,
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
by: Joe Hueglin

Stephen Harper's reaffirmation that Canadian Forces will be withdrawn from Afghanistan in 2011, in terms of both human and physical resources his most important current election promise. This must be viewed in the light of his record as a promise keeper.

In May, 2004 Steven Harper proposed a GST break on high gas prices stating: "The main thing is that Canadians know the government is not trying to gouge them at the same time they are having trouble filling their tank," (1)

Fifteen months later in speaking to the softwood lumber issue his words were: "There can be no question of Canada returning to a conventional bargaining table, as the U.S. Ambassador has suggested. You don't negotiate after you've won. The issue is compliance."(2)

In the 2006 Election he promised “to bolster Canada's presence in the waterway with the addition of three heavy-duty armed icebreakers" serving in the north. (3)


Stephen Harper's record is that of a promise breaker:

Canadians paid a high price for the income trust reversal of Halloween 2006. (4)

The promise of heavy icebreakers metamorphosed into dual purpose Arctic/Offshore Patrol Ships incapable of performing either task well. (5)

Compliance with NAFTA court decisions on softwood lumber was abandoned and negotiations entered into costing producers $1 billion in taxes for the U.S. at the time of signing with an export tax of up to 15% and quotas as long as the Agreement lasts.

As for a GST tax break on gasoline, it has not been honoured, having been a promise made long ago while in opposition.

Does this record of promise breaking indicate that "a Harper majority government would in fact move quickly to engineer a reversal of the pullout plan and replace it with a commitment to extend the mission beyond 2011," as some suspect? (6)

Only time will tell, but there is most certainly reasons for unease.


Joe Hueglin

Photo credit: Canadian Armed Forces Image Gallery

1. CBC News Harper proposes GST break on high gas prices, May 17, 2004, CBC


2. Harper, Stephen, Speech my Conservative party leader in Halifax, September 7, 2005, Gowlings


3. CBC News, Northwest Passage, The Arctic Grail, August 8, 2006, CBC


4. Coates, Al, Canadians paid a high price for Flaheerty's income trust reversal, September 16, 2008, The


5. DND, Armed Naval Icebreakers - the Artic/Offshore Patrol Ships, July 10, 2007, Canadian American Strategic Review


6. Rashid, David, Taliban whip up support for Canada's conservatives, September 15, 2008,Quqnoos



Retrun to Ensign or Saskatchewan News


This page is a story posted on Ensign which is a daily web site offering a variety of material from scenic images, political commentary, information and news. This publication is the work of Faster Than Light Communications . If you would like to comment on this story or you wish to contact the editor of these sites please send us email.


Editor : Timothy W. Shire
Faster Than Light Communication
Box 1776, Tisdale, Saskatchewan, Canada, S0E 1T0
306 873 2004